Greater simplification, reduced bureaucracy and complexity?
HSE has today (28/02/16) published a “new health and safety system strategy”.
This New Strategy follows “conversations” with the public during the first two months of 2016 which the regulator claims made it “clear that we have strong support for all of the themes in the new strategy” namely:
Acting together: Promoting broader ownership of health and safety in Great Britain
Tackling ill health: Highlighting and tackling the costs of work-related ill health
Managing risk well: Simplifying risk management and helping business to grow
Supporting small employers: Giving SMEs simple advice so they know what they have to do
Keeping pace with change: Anticipating and tackling new health and safety challenges
Sharing our success: Promoting the benefits of Great Britain’s world-class health and safety system
HSE believe that the GB health and safety record is the “envy of much of the world” based on protecting people by managing risk in a proportionate and effective way, supporting innovation and increasing productivity.
HSE will continue to be a prime mover, through ongoing regulatory reform, working in partnership with stakeholders, carrying out inspections, assessing safety cases etc. and taking enforcement action.
Challenging ‘experts’ who over-prescribe and interpret
HSE will look to act increasingly as an enabler, supporting businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by providing simple, accessible and relevant advice and “challenging so-called ‘experts’ who over prescribe and over interpret requirements”.
The Government Minister, Justin Tomlinson MP Minister for Disabled People (covering HSE) in supporting the strategy said:
“Tackling workplace ill health is rightly a key theme. Some 23 million working days are lost each year because of it. Individuals, employers and the state incur an annual cost of around £9 billion from ill health due to today’s working conditions. So reducing workplace ill health is a must for Britain’s well-being and prosperity.
Another key theme in the strategy is ensuring that businesses – especially SMEs – know how to take the right actions easily and efficiently. Legislation and guidance have already been simplified but more needs to be done, and the strategy sets out how.
The HSE Judith Hackitt HSE Chair said: “Too much complexity and bureaucracy has built up around health and safety. We heard many people say that we already have the knowledge to make the themes of the strategy a reality. The message that this is about being smarter – not simply doing more – resonated with our audiences.
By keeping things as simple and straightforward as possible we can ensure that all businesses see this as enabling them to be successful and productive.”
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With thanks to http://www.hse.gov.uk/